I believe that quilting, like writing, has to originate from deeply in one’s soul. For over a month I’ve had the fabrics for my youngest daughter’s quilt, and slowly I’ve been cutting them into four and a half inch squares. The cutting was delayed because my rotary cutter blade was toast after slicing through the fabrics still hanging on the quilt wall. But I have amended that dull cutting blade, and over the last few days I’ve been getting the last of her fabrics sorted.
I like stacking them, makes for a pretty design as well as keeping the fabrics separate, for now. The stack behind is my scrap stash, for the scrappy quilt I’m in the process of piecing together. Then there’s the fabric I’ve purchased over the last couple of days, from a chain fabric store. Cheap fat quarters were supplemented with some not that expensive half and quarter yards, which I wasn’t sure about, other than I loved the vintage look, enhanced by the somewhat lesser quality of the fabric.
I don’t always buy cheap fabrics, but there is a reason for everything.
Over the last seven years I wrote a lot of first drafts. Some turned into the dozen indie novels I’ve published, most are quietly sleeping in my hard and flash drives and within email inboxes. But there was a purpose behind all those stories; to turn me into a quilter. Ha ha! But seriously, all that I wrote was to sharpen skills, ease my mind, keep me out of trouble. Quilting is similar, although I didn’t know my sewing habits required such an overhaul. But the quilts themselves, each one has a distinct reason for being. My first, of which I will describe in full one of these days, is helping my dad ease the chills chemotherapy stirs. The second, well, so far it’s the scrappy quilt, although it might be like The Hawk, a project that comes and goes with the ebb and flow of life. The third quilt…
Well, it was going to be the whale quilt for my daughter. She’s not young, in relation to the fanciful nature of whales, but has a youthful soul. But I did buy over five yards of fabric in the last two days, mostly of fat quarters, all in floral patterns, and in my eldest daughter’s words, truly those belonging to someone who grew up in the 70s.
As I chose those fabrics, I did ponder for whom they would be; youngest daughter has whales, eldest wants cream, brown and blue. Others fill the quilt queue, but my sister will receive Hawaiian shirts in hers, my brother-in-law hunting motifs. No one on the list needed vintage floral fabrics, and I didn’t need to make myself a quilt; I have the scrappy project, plus the quilt-on-the-wall.
So why did I buy those five yards of fabric?
I love it when the light goes off; I call it a Price Is Right Moment (PIRM), based upon when I realized that The Price Is Right is just one very long commercial for a variety of products. Today’s PIRM was that very soon my husband and I will need a lightweight summer quilt, and what better use for those somewhat thin fabrics than a blanket for the next several months? I’ll get some batting with a 1/16 loft, back it with a queen-sized sheet that my hubby likes for its cooling propensities, and there I go.
But unlike the plethora of banked novels, this quilt will get plenty of use. Summer in California lasts from about mid-April through all of September, and much of October. Even if it’s raining today, hovering just around 60F, by Sunday it’s supposed to be 76F. Now, that’s more like California weather.
When the writing exploded, I didn’t think too much about the why. I allowed the stories to go as they wanted, which at times was in a flurry of words. Quilting seems to be progressing in a similar vein; I don’t think too hard about it, other than getting the measurements correct. The whale blocks had to be eight and a half inches square (allowing for a quarter inch seam), while the rest of the blocks in my daughter’s quilt are four inch squares. I am a little OCD about measuring, but I managed to secure five whale and boy scenes from two fat quarters. I thought I was only going to get four, but that whale has a crafty look in his eye. Perhaps he knew five blocks were possible all along…